Manchester Airport lights up red, white and blue as thousands jet off to US for Fourth of July celebrations


-          More than 100,000 people fly to the US every month from Manchester, with around 20,000 American-born people living in the North West

-          New York, Houston, Orlando and Atlanta all served by direct flights from UK’s global gateway in the North, with Las Vegas flights set to start next summer

-          The US is Greater Manchester’s largest export destination and largest source of imports, with a combined annual value of £2.5bn in the city region alone

Manchester Airport’s Terminal Two will be lit up in red, white and blue this weekend as thousands of passengers jet off to the United States ahead of Independence Day on Tuesday.

More than 100,000 people travel to the US from Manchester Airport every month, with New York, Houston, Orlando and Atlanta all served by direct flights. The North West of England is home to around 20,000 American-born residents, many of whom are expected to travel across the Atlantic this weekend to join friends and family members for Independence Day festivities. They will be getting a special send-off, with Terminal Two’s famous honeycomb lights lit up in the colours of the Stars and Stripes and a ‘Happy Fourth of July’ message displayed on the giant Media Wall screen.

Independence Day is a national holiday in the United States, famed for family barbecues and firework displays, and marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence being signed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “I’d like to wish a very happy Fourth of July to everyone who is travelling out to the US from Manchester to join the Independence Day celebrations.

“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, we are proud to connect over a million passengers to the US every year, and those links are vital for the economic prosperity of our region.

“Earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic announced the return of direct flights to Las Vegas from next summer, which demonstrates the strong post-pandemic recovery in demand for travel to the US. We’re doing all we can to expand our transatlantic route network even further in the years ahead.”

At the moment, passengers travelling from Manchester can fly directly to four US cities, with a fifth soon to follow;

-          New York City is served by AerLingus and Virgin Atlantic, who both fly into John F Kennedy Airport.

-          Orlando is also served by both AerLingus and Virgin Atlantic, year-round. Tui operates a seasonal summer service to Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

-          Houston is served by Singapore Airlines.

-          Atlanta is served by Virgin Atlantic. The city’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest airport by passenger volume and puts passengers from Manchester within one transfer of over 150 US airports.

-          Virgin Atlantic recently announced it would resume flights to Las Vegas from June 2, 2024, for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic. Tickets go on sale in July 2023.

Orlando is the most popular US destination for travellers from Manchester, with over 180,000 drawn there between April and June this year – many of whom are drawn by its reputation for family entertainment, with no fewer than a dozen theme parks. Not far behind was the Big Apple, pulling in more than 120,000 visitors.

Pre-pandemic, Manchester had the third largest transatlantic network of any UK airport, and 12th largest in Europe, directly benefiting the regional and national economy. The US is both Greater Manchester’s largest export destination and largest source of imports, according to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, accounting for a combined £2.5bn of exports and imports in the city region alone in 2021, and over £86bn nationally.

In the most recent three years pre-pandemic (2016-2019), the North West of England saw the number of visitors from the US grow by around 32% - compared to just 14% for the UK nationally.* The US is the second largest inbound visitor market to the North West, only behind the Republic of Ireland (as at 2019).*

* Statistics provided by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce